The second half of the MLB season is about to begin and the National League West race is getting tight between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. Currently the race for the NL West crown is the tightest race in the entire league, with the LA Dodgers leading the SF Giants by just a .5 game.
The Dodgers will need to have all hands on deck in order to fend off the Giants. The most important factor for them the second half of the season will be OF Matt Kemp. Kemp had an injury-filled first half of the season, and only played in 36 games out of a possible 87 so far. In addition, the fact that he injured his hamstring is very troubling because he plays in the outfield and is an everyday player. Kemp is a major key factor for the Dodgers to hang on and win the NL West.
The second most important factor for the Dodgers to finish the season strong is P Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers will definitely be depending upon Kershaw to carry the pitcher staff since he is the ace. Kershaw has to step up his game and play even better than he did during the first half of the season. Kershaw has pitched his way to a 6-5 record in the first half of the season, and in order for the Dodgers to win the NL West and have success in the playoffs, he needs to improve his record heading forward.
The race in the NL West has tightened up between the Dodgers and Giants, and one of these teams may begin to pull away in the second half of the season. There are plenty of factors that may play a role in who wins the NL West like injuries and players getting on a hot streak. But for the Dodgers, Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw need to lead the way in order for the team to capture the National League West title.